A band of hard-hiking, tough-cycling heroes from Bellshill (one’s from East Kilbride but works locally) have raised a fortune for a children’s hospital charity.
Known as the Bellshill Six, the veteran fundraisers have brought in £4,000 in donations after an epic hike along the West Highland Way - followed by a second effort involving three of the men and another volunteer in the Ben Nevis Cycle Challenge.
This was the icing on the cake for the hard-working squad, as - against massive odds, and competition from all over the UK - they won the event for Bellshill outright.
Team member David Markey said: “We all completed the West Highland Way over five days, then three of us and a colleague took part in the Ben Nevis charity challenge.
“In this you race up and down Ben Nevis, cycle 15 miles to a loch, row three kilometres in kayaks ... then cycle 10 miles back to the Nevis Centre.”
He added: “This was my third attempt at this event and, guess what, we won it. There were teams from all over Britain and two Bellshill men and two friends won it!”
After their major double achievement the team -a group of friends with numerous previous successes to their credit - are set to present a bumper cheque to the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.
They all want to thank the numerous local people who helped them raise such a magnificent sum - because all of the donations were from the local area.
Even the first stage of this year’s effort involved plenty of “blood, sweat and tears”, said David, but it was more than worth it, particularly as they’ve proved beyond doubt they’re a band of outdoor sports contenders to be reckoned with.
The men who took part in the West Highland Way walk (over 96 miles) were David Markey, Paul Jolly, Paul Mockus, Allan Savage, William McConnell (all Bellshill) and Kieran Duggan (East Kilbride).
The Ben Nevis Challenge team were David Markey, Paul Jolly, Kieran Duggan and Ryan Daly (from Falkirk).
During the preparation training for this year’s adventure David said: “Our fund raising started in 2013 when Paul Jolly, Paul Mockus, Allan Savage and I ran the Edinburgh Marathon and raised money for Team Kyle .
“It’s named after a local lad, and friend’s son, who had been diagnosed with a life limiting condition, and we raised £8,000.
“Paul Jolly and I continued training and doing sponsored events and we have now completed several Munros and the West Highland Way twice”.
The latest triumph is surely their greatest – and very unlikely to be their last.